FIRST ON EWN: Karate molester may get off

A Fourways karate instructor may escape jail, despite pleading guilty to seven counts of assault.

A child wearing a judo/karate suit. Picture: www.sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt a Fourways karate instructor may not have to serve time in jail, despite pleading guilty to 10 counts of sexual and indecent assault.

The elderly teacher struck a deal with prosecutors at the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Friday. He will be sentenced on 5 December.

He was arrested last year and initially charged for molesting 11 of his students. He was also charged with allegedly raping one of them.

Speaking out for the first time, the karate teacher said he decided to plead guilty to seven counts of sexual assault and three of indecent assault.

He said it was a difficult decision and maintained it was impossible to teach karate without touching students.

"I'm relieved that hopefully, depending on what the sentence is, I can get on with my life and try to re-establish some sort of life - I mean I'm not a young man."

The rape charge is one of 12 counts which were dropped by the State.

The teacher could now escape with a suspended sentence, which is likely to outrage the parents of the students involved.